Darwin, fishbowls and crocodiles
Darwin Travel Blog› entry 39 of 51 › view all entries
We flew from Sydney to Darwin, once the homeland of the Larrrakia people and now the small town capital of the Northern Territory. We settled into our hostel and then visited the main tourist attraction in the city - Crocosaurus Cove. Crocosaurus Cove has a great reptile house, some aquariums with local fish and pig-nosed turtles and, of course, lots and lots of crocodiles. Most are juveniles on loan from the Crocodile Farm (they are butchered for meat and skin when they grow to 1.8 metres long), but there are seven big crocs there, that were either captured from the wild or expelled from the farm due to bad behaviour. There was Denzel, who is 5.2 metres and 670kg, and was so aggressive that he had to be removed from the crocodile farm.
We learnt some interesting stuff about crocodiles. Despite local myth, they cannot run faster than humans, with their top speed being only 17kph (compared to 25kph for humans). Their bite force is, however, astounding compared to other animals. Humans have a bite force of 85lbs (380 Newtons), African wild dogs can bite 300lbs (1,300 Newtons), African lions and Great White Sharks can bite 600lbs (2,700 Newtons), American Alligators can bite 2,900lbs (12,900 Newtons), Tyranosaurus Rex is predicted to have had a bite force of 4,100lbs (18,200 Newtons), but a big Saltwater Crocodile tops them all at 7,600lbs (33,800 Newtons).
We also got to hold a juvenile crocodile, and the keeper showed us the numbering system they used. Crocodiles do not get individual tags but instead all siblings get a nest tag, and by cutting off scales at the tip of the tail (hundreds), on the left-handside (tens) and right-handside (singles) any number between 1 and 999 can be permanently left on them.
After Crocosaurus Cove we walked down the Esplanade and to the water, and then had drinks (including Fishbowl cocktails oof Illusions) at Tap with Luke from across the road.